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Mixer On Wheels
"It saves labor and time and is trouble-free to operate with hardly any maintenance or breakdowns," says Lloyd DeGroot, Kaukauna, Wis., who along with wife Patti converted a 180-bu. Jamesway stationary auger mixer into a self-propelled mobile unit that follows a 55-ft. long steel track.
The track is bolted onto the floor of a feed alley that connects the DeGroots' free-stall barn with two stave silos spaced 60 ft. apart. The mixer's rubber tires simply run inside the track which guides the mixer under both silo chutes as well as an overhead feed storage bin. Once the mixer is full, feed is side discharged into an electric feed cart that unloads into outside feed bunks and tie stalls inside the barn.
"A local equipment dealer built a 10-1/2 ft. long, 4-ft. wide frame from 4-in. channel iron and welded it to the bottom of the mixer. DeGroot salvaged two rear end axles and a 10-ft long drive shaft from a pair of junked-out Ford Pintos. He mounted a gearbox and electric motor (removed from an old elevator) in the middle of the frame. The motor and gearbox power the drive-shaft and one of the rear end axles. "If the drive shaft ever breaks down, I can reverse the motor and gearbox and drive the mixer from the other rear end axle," says DeGroot, who geared down the motor so the mixer travels at 2 1/2 to 3 mph.
An electrician mounted a transformer in the feed room. An electric cord that trails from a wall-mounted steel guide bar powers the motor and is free to run the length of the track. "We've seen a 30% decrease in our electric bill since we set up our mobile mixer 1 1!2 years ago," notes DeGroot."
To make the track DeGroot bolted two lengths of angle iron spaced 8 in. apart onto the feed room floor.
Total cost of the conversion was about $500.
Contact FARM SHOW Followup, Lloyd DeGroot, N. 1098 Co. Rd. GG, Kaukauna, Wis. 54130 (ph 414 766-4595).

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1992 - Volume #16, Issue #3